Columbia, Mo. -- Churches and nonprofit organizations serve an essential role in disaster recovery, providing case management assistance to individuals and volunteers to help in disaster cleanup.
But sometimes these organizations find themselves in need of help.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Individuals and Households program provides disaster assistance grants to individuals, while FEMA's Public Assistance program reimburses local and state government agencies and certain private nonprofit organizations performing government type services for repairs to eligible disaster-damaged infrastructure.
The best option for most churches, nonprofit organizations and homeowner associations to rebuild may be through low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
SBA works closely with FEMA in disaster recovery. SBA serves as the federal government's primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repair or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property.
Nonprofit organizations may qualify for loans up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged real estate, equipment, inventory and fixtures. These "physical disaster" loans may be increased by as much as 20 percent, up to the limit, to protect the property against similar disasters in the future. In all cases, these loans are given to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries, and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
The SBA also offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to small businesses, agricultural cooperatives and certain private, nonprofit organizations to cover financial obligations the business would have paid if the disaster had not occurred. Economic injury loans are also given in amounts up to $2 million, but the total of both physical disaster and economic injury loans cannot exceed $2 million.
SBA loans up to $2 million are also available to Homeowner Associations, Planned Unit Developments and similar common-interest developments. Individuals may not borrow money to repair common areas that are the responsibility of the association.
Nonprofit organizations and businesses may apply directly to the SBA for assistance, but business owners and other individuals may be eligible for help from FEMA for personal residences suffering disaster damage. Contact SBA at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339). Online, go to sba.gov or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Residents and business owners in the designated counties affected by the disaster may register for federal assistance using one of three methods:
- Online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
- By smartphone through m.FEMA.gov, click on "Apply Online for FEMA Assistance."
- By phone, call toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362).
Those with a speech disability or hearing loss, who use a TTY, should call 800-462-7585; or use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) to call 800-621-3362.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government';s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private non-profit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and covers the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
FEMA's temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical...